Become A Volunteer

Why become a volunteer?

Without our volunteers, the Wildlife Aid Foundation (based in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK) could not continue to care for the animals that need our help. If you feel strongly about the future of British wildlife, if you just love all animals or even if it’s just because you have some free time and want to work with a group of friendly, dedicated group and like-minded people, then why not become a volunteer?

You don’t need any special skills to help out at the centre (based in Leatherhead in Surrey) – just a few hours a week on a regular basis and a passion for caring for animal health. We have volunteers of all ages, levels of experience and background. You do not need to be a wildlife expert – we will give you full training and support – but you do need to be someone who cares about an animals welfare and is willing to make a commitment to coming in on a regular basis. Sorry, but we do not take on short-term volunteers; a commitment of at least 6 months would be ideal due to the training involved.

Being a volunteer at The Wildlife Aid Foundation is a commitment to helping the charity carry out its valuable work and being sure an animals welfare is good. Alongside the animal care duties and monitoring animal health, volunteers regularly get involved in fundraising events, talks at local schools and organisations, and helping with the administrative side of the charity. Some of our volunteers help with PR & Marketing, some offer their services to collect injured animals from around the county – there are opportunities for everyone.

Joining the Wildlife Aid Foundation as a volunteer provides us a lot of help in animal care as we have more hands and more time to care for more animals and be sure that animal health is looked after and an animals welfare is in good condition on a larger scale. With this help we are also able to go out on more rescue missions and provide support to different communities across the country.

How does it work

As the centre in Leatherhead is run entirely by volunteers, we rely heavily on a regular commitment to ensure we always have enough people in each day to look after all the animals in our care. We are open 7 days a week, and each day is divided into 3 shifts: Morning (9am – 1pm), Afternoon (1pm – 6pm) and Evening (6pm – 10pm). Volunteers opt for a regular shift, which they attend every week at the same time. Weekend shifts can be weekly or fortnightly.

If you would like to become a Wildlife Aid volunteer, and can easily get to our centre in Leatherhead, please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page, and we will be in touch to discuss our current opportunities.

Please note the following:

1. Applications can only be accepted from over 18’s please

2. Please be patient when submitting an application! We only have a small admin team. You should receive a reply within 10 working days.

3. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we do need to communicate by email for the application process, and ongoing, simply due to a lack of resources in our admin. department. Please email us with all your questions, and we will our best to get back to you in a timely fashion!

4. As a small charity we are unable to offer accommodation for volunteers travelling from overseas.

5. Sorry, but we can only offer internships to qualified Veterinary Nurses or Veterinary Surgeons.

6. All volunteers must have an up to date tetanus injection prior to starting.

General Assistant – all duties – minimum commitment: 1 shift per week

  • Animal care: cleaning and feeding of animals at the centre.
  • Setting up pens and cages for new admissions
  • Restocking food supplies for all areas of the hospital and advising of any shortages
  • Helping to move animals from one area to another as they progress with their rehabilitation
  • Being available to help veterinary staff with jobs
  • General maintenance of the centre – tidying, cleaning, painting, weeding etcInterested? Please click here to fill in an application form!

Receptionist administrators – minimum commitment: 1 shift per week

Based on the busy hospital reception desk, this public-facing role will involve:

  • Booking in patients at the busy reception desk
  • Taking incoming telephone calls and giving advice to the general public
  • Organising rescues for injured wildlife that need to be attended to at the scene
  • Entering all admissions onto our database (full training given)
  • Encouraging donations and memberships from the public bringing in animals to us
  • General running of a very busy reception desk and administrative support to the main admin. office

Full training will be given; however applicants should have a good standard of literacy & numeracy, and should be able to demonstrate good customer service skills. Attention to detail is very important, and any previous customer service or reception experience would be ideal but not essential.

Interested? Please click here to fill in an application form!

Centre maintenance and housekeeping

A morning/afternoon or full day shift, available 7 days a week, this role is less hands-on with the animals and focuses more on keeping the centre running. From re-filling and ordering food supplies to cleaning out cages or fixing a broken perch, this role is for a practical, physically fit person.  You will still have the opportunity to get involved with the animals if you like; there are always times when we are short-staffed and you can help out!  We often need animals released back to the wild, so if you have a clean driving license you can assist with one of the best bits – releases!

Choose ‘Centre Maintenance’ from the drop down list on the application form and we’ll get you in for an induction.

Interested? Please click here to fill in an application form!

Volunteer Vets/Veterinary Nurses

Wild Work!

Are you a qualified Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Surgeon who would like the opportunity of working on the wild side of the veterinary world?

We are offering a unique learning experience for those keen to get to grips with the treatment of wildlife, from its initial assessment to rehabilitation.

The Wildlife Aid Foundation, home of TV’s ‘Wildlife SOS’, is very pleased to be able to offer voluntary work placements to vets and vet nurses for short or long periods of time. This can be a regular commitment – hopefully, at least once a week, long term, or just one or two week’s work experience in our busy hospital for you to gain experience working alongside our current veterinary team. This is a very rewarding position and a great opportunity to gain experience with British Wildlife. You will receive full training from our Vet team with a wide variety of wild species, giving you hands-on experience in how to triage, treat and rehab wild animals.

If you are interested, then please do send a letter with a copy of your CV to naomi@wildlifeaid.org.uk and we will provide you with more information.

Work Experience Placements

Schools and colleges around the country send students to The Wildlife Aid Foundation every year, and students find the hands on experience of working with our patients very useful as an accompaniment to their studies.

All arrangements and communications regarding placements must be arranged by the attending student.

The Wildlife Aid Foundation offers Work Experience placements all year round, although during the winter months of October to March the hospital is very quiet and learning potential may be reduced.

Students will become involved in the day to day running of the hospital, with the cleaning and feeding that accompanies the ongoing animal care and welfare that we offer.

Please note: our placements consist of 5 days work experience over a 7 day period, with students working at the weekend as the hospital is open 7 days a week.  The weekend days will be advised to you in plenty of time and will be at the end of your placement week, i.e. all weeks start on a Monday, and will finish on a Sunday, with two days off during that period.  Your usual hours will be from 9am – 5pm, with an hour for lunch.

If you wish to reserve a placement, please click here to complete an application form. Choose “Work Experience” from the drop-down menu.

Please note that we ask for a payment of £30 for each week to cover our admin and insurance costs and all students must be over the age of 16 when they start their placement. Sorry, but we are unable to assist with accommodation for students.

Any questions? Please email: helen@wildlifeaid.org.uk

Duke of Edinburgh

Unfortunately, due to time and resource constraints, we are unable to take volunteers as part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Fundraising/Marketing/PR

As a charity we are continually looking for new ways to generate funds to keep the centre running. These roles would generally be home-based, attending events when necessary, so if this is your area of expertise, please email fundraising@wildlifeaid.org.uk directly.

School & Group Talks

Are you confident talking in front of a group of people? Once you have some experience here, why not help us with our educational programme by giving talks on behalf of the Wildlife Aid Foundation? We receive many requests throughout the year from local schools and community organisations, who would like to know more about the work that we do. We have a fantastic PowerPoint presentation, which caters for all age groups. If this is something you would like to get involved with, please get in touch by emailing talks@wildlifeaid.org.uk

Internships

Looking for an internship in our hospital?

Currently we are only able to offer voluntary internships to qualified Veterinary Nurses or Veterinary Surgeons. If suitably qualified, please click here for further information and contact details. Please note, this internship is a voluntary position and not paid.

If your qualification is not in this field then regretfully we cannot offer you an internship at The Wildlife Aid Foundation at the current time.

However, please consider becoming a regular volunteer, as you will get plenty of hands-on experience in dealing with day-to-day animal care and feeding regimes. Click here to fill in an application form.

We also offer work experience placements, click here to find out more.

University Industrial Placements

University students needing professional placements: we offer an all-round placement for the academic year, encompassing all areas of animal care with the opportunity to spend some time with the vet team.  There is also the option to gain experience in reception & admin, marketing and fundraising, and all aspects of running a wildlife charity.  Hours to suit; generally 5 days a week, including some weekend, although more available if needed! Please note this is an unpaid role.

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter, explaining why a placement at WAF would benefit your studies to alice@wildlifeaid.org.uk for more details.